Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Winner! + Seattle

I'm sitting in the airport right now, waiting for my (late) plane to get cleaned so I can board it (apparently the airport was closed because of fog earlier this morning so everything is running behind) and be on my way to my first out of state signing in Seattle! I will also be taking part in Winter Institute tomorrow--I can't wait to meet all of the lovely booksellers and other authors who will be in attendance! If you're in the area, I hope to see you at University Book Store in Bellevue tonight!

Now, on to the winner from my Launch Party Celebration giveaway! One lucky person gets a signed ARC of THE SHADOW PRINCE by Bree Despain AND a signed copy of BLINDSIDED by Natalie Whipple--the sequel to TRANSPARENT!

And the winner is...


Nikki Krueger!!!

Yay!! Congrats Nikki! Please email me within 1 week to claim your prize, including what address you'd like the books mailed to. (If Nikki doesn't respond within 1 week, I will redraw the winner.)

Monday, January 13, 2014

DEFY Launch Party Recap

I can't believe it's been a week since DEFY officially released! Between that and SonB's 5th birthday, it's been a whirlwind!

That was an amazing day--everything I dreamed it would be and more.

I woke up to the dulcet sounds of my daughter's fire alarm beeping at 4 am because the battery had died or something. My husband fixed it, and went back to sleep. My brain had switched on and there was no hope for me. So I got up and went to the gym at 5:20 and began responding to all of the amazing tweets and messages that had already begun to show up. Seriously, you guys MADE my day with all of your excitement for me and my book.

As I said, it was also my son's birthday, so I went home from the gym and prepared for his "surprise party." He informed us the night before that he wanted a surprise party, but I reminded him we'd already planned his party for that Saturday. So he compromised by letting us know it would be okay if we just surprised him in the morning. He told us, "When you hear me stomp my feet, that's your cue to hide in the kitchen and when I come downstairs you can all jump out and yell surprise!" So we complied with his wish. The only problem was that when we heard him get up, we all hid, but....he didn't stomp. Apparently he wanted to draw out the suspense. Eventually we heard the sound of velcro as he strapped on his shoes. Finally, there was stomping. We all ducked back down behind the island again (except for my 2 1/2 year-old daughter who kept hiding in the pantry). Well, to make a long story short, twenty minutes and a few charley-horses later, he finally came down so we could jump out and yell SURPRISE!

We did go to lunch for him, to help him feel like it was a special day for his birthday and not just Mommy's book...but my family surprised me and gave me a card and two very beautiful, special necklaces. My sister came up with the idea and my dad had them made--to match my book cover. Basically, I started crying in the middle of Sweet Tomatoes.

I rushed home to get ready for my big night, and to meet my friend, CP, and agency sister Katie Purdie because we had a very special person to pick up from the airport....

 My amazing agent, Josh Adams, flew out for the launch party!! I'm still blown away that he did that. We had a lovely, delicious dinner and then it was time to get set up for the big launch party!
 There he is--my incredible hubby, hard at work getting everything set up!
 Josh was so kind--he didn't forget my little guy's birthday. He brought him some books--which he LOVES by the way! (Yes, he insisted on wearing the crown he got at preschool all day so that everyone knew it was his birthday.)

I couldn't believe the emotions I felt as my family, friends, neighbors, authors, and even some people I didn't know personally, came to support me and to get copies of DEFY signed.

And then it was time. Whitney, from The King's English, introduced DEFY and turned the mike over to me. I started off great--for about fifteen seconds. I couldn't even get through "I can't believe I'm standing here--that this is really happening" without doing this:

(That's my I'm trying-and-failing not to cry face.) It really was just so overwhelming. I've been coming to events at TKE for years and years, but always as a supporter, dreaming of the day that it would hopefully be my turn. I just couldn't believe I'd finally made it.
 I was able to regain control of my emotions and continue, thankfully. I even read a snippet of my "premature baby" story from my Little Mermaid notebook (to prove that my bio is true!). We had a few minor snafus...such as the internet going out at the end of my Power Point presentation when I was supposed to show a little clip from FRIENDS. Cue: STALLING.

 As part of that, I had my cute little five-year-old come up so we could sing Happy Birthday to him. I wasn't sure if he'd come up or not, but he jumped right up and stood by me. That's huge for him! Of course, he sat there messing with his lip the whole time, but he stood there and I think it made him really happy. (Notice the hubs frantically working on the computer next to us...) We finally did get it to work and I was able to finish.
 I gave Josh a little gift to try and show him my appreciation for all that he has done for me... (still can't believe he came!)
 And then it was time to head over to the bookstore for the actual signing! Apparently they sold out of my books that night. That is just...wow. Thank you everyone for coming. From the bottom of my heart (or my full-sized aortic pump for those of you who were there), I can never thank you enough.
 My mom and two of my cute sisters! Some of my biggest supporters!!!
 Two more sisters on my right and a cute family friend on my left!
My sweet mother-in-law who has been so excited for me!!

 Katie, Josh, and me--team Adams Lit!!
 This guy is the reason why I get to hold this book in my hands. SO incredibly grateful for my agent--for believing in me and for getting DEFY into the hands of Lisa Sandell, my editor. I am so unbelievably lucky to work with her. All the years of heartache and struggle were worth it to get to work with both of them.
 My amazing parents. They have always believed in me and encouraged me to go for my dreams. I love you both!
And last, but certainly not least, my husband. He has never stopped believing, never stopped encouraging me, never stopped dreaming with me! He is my biggest supporter, my best friend, and my soul-mate. I'm so grateful for him and that we finally get to celebrate this moment together!

After the signing we got some dessert at The Dodo (YUM) and then called it a night. It was a dream come true.

And now it's back to real life! The day after a launch party is kind of like the day after Christmas....x10, lol! So thank you for all of your continued tweets, messages, texts, and emails--every single one means SO much to me and makes me so incredibly happy!!

Now to celebrate the release of DEFY, I'm offering a very special giveaway! Up for grabs:

 An ARC of THE SHADOW PRINCE by Bree Despain!!! Guys, this book is SO good. And the cover got changed, so this is basically a limited edition. I kind of want to keep it, but instead, I'm going to be nice and share it with one lucky person!

But that's not all! I'm also giving away a signed copy of BLINDSIDED by Natalie Whipple!! (the sequel to the fabulous TRANSPARENT)!! Such an AWESOME duology--trust me, you want this book!

To enter for you chance to win, follow the directions below and may the Rafflecopter odds be ever in your favor!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


I've been sitting here for an hour, trying to articulate what I'm feeling at this moment, and I'm truly struggling.

How do I put into words what it feels like to see my book on a shelf after a lifetime of dreaming? How can I explain what it's like to get tweets, emails, Facebook messages, and more, from those of you who have already read DEFY and love it--after decades of writing and hoping and wishing, and eight years of struggling to get published, to finally reach this point, to make this dream a reality? How do I articulate the emotions that filled me when I walked into a bookstore for the first time and saw DEFY sitting on a shelf? Words are my craft, they are everything to me. But they are failing me right now.

There is no way I can truly put into words my excitement, my relief, my nervousness, and above all, my overwhelming joy as DEFY officially enters the world today. I have literally always wanted to be an author, to be published. I will never be able to fully express my gratitude to those who have made this day possible.

So many friends and family have supported me through all the years of struggling, rejection, perseverance, and ultimately success. I tried to name most of them in my acknowledgments, so I won't repeat that here. But to the key people who brought DEFY into the world, thank you. Truly, thank you.

To Josh, for believing and making it happen.

To Lisa, for loving this story as much as I do and for giving it wings.

To my children for being so patient and loving. I hope that someday you will be proud of what your mommy has accomplished, even if it meant she had to work sometimes, when you wished she could play. I may have given you life, but you three are my life. I love you more than I could ever say, and no book I have ever written or will ever write, is more important than the three beautiful, amazing spirits that I have the privilege of claiming as my own for these short years of childhood.

And above all, to my husband. Not only for always believing, no matter how impossible my dream seemed, but for loving me. I am infinitely more flawed than any character I have ever written, and I am so grateful to you for your unwavering devotion and support, despite that. And also, for claiming that you don't care when the house is a mess because I'm in the throes of a new draft or deep in the revision cave with a deadline looming. You are my everything.

I love this book. I love these characters, with all of their flaws and strengths. I love their journeys, and what they taught me as I wrote DEFY.

This story means so much to me. It is a part of me, and as I give it to the world, it takes with it a piece of my heart and soul.

But it is no longer mine. I may have written the words, but the story now belongs to you, my readers.

My only hope is that you will find a piece of yourself within these pages, and maybe, just maybe, a piece of your heart, too.

Pre-order Giveaway winners! *UPDATED*

Thank you to everyone who entered my pre-order giveaway! I can't tell you how much it means to any author, but especially a debut author, for someone to be excited enough to pre-order your book. So, again, THANK YOU ALL who pre-ordered DEFY!!

But there can only be a four winners....and those are:

GRAND PRIZE (signed final copy OR signed ARC of DEFY + swag pack of awesome!) : LORI DUNN!!!

*NEW WINNER: RUNNER UP (Swag pack of awesome!): Amy Mays!!!

*NEW WINNER: Bonus prize of 1 Audio Book Download!: Ellie M!!
Bonus prize of 1 Audio Book Download!: Stephanie (Chasm of Books)!!!

Congratulations to the winners!!

Please email me your addresses (for the book/swag winners) or your name and what email you would like the audio book sent to within one week or I will draw new names. ( SaraBLarson21 (at) gmail (dot) com )

Thank and congrats again!!!